AKA Oakwood Cemetery
Buena Vista Township, Richland County,
Note: Three different Issues below July
21, 1955, April 12, 1956 & July 31, 1958
Tales The Tombstone
Tell Republican Observer July 21, 1955
"Killed by a Whale"
So reads the inscription upon the tombstone in the
Sextonville cemetery. The inscription is for James McCorkle and were he
alive today he would be 132 years old. James is not buried beneath the
stone but was left where he went down to his death far, far away. The
Charles M., son of J. and L.A. McCorkle, Died Jan.
25, 1854, aged 26 years.
James, born January 1, 1823, Killed by a whale in
the Sea of Japan May 25, 1848, aged 25 years and five months.
From a history of the McCorkle family, we learned
that some of the family were seafaring men. Two of them, William and
Samuel were captains of whaling vessels and Joseph was First Mate upon
the ship of Captain Samuel, and that James was killed by charging whale
which upset a small boat and the occupants were drowned.
James put out to sea as a member of the crew on a
hunt for whales. He was a young man when he first went to sea and when
the ship upon which he sailed slipped out of port on a long journey,
James, filled with the love of adventure, was no doubt in high glee.
Adventure upon the high seas, strange ports of call, new lands, were
all ahead. It was spring time back home as the whaling ship with full
sail, entered the Sea of Japan. Whales had been sighted and two or
three killed. The crew, in high spirit looked ahead for a record kill.
May 25, 1848, dawned and the rolling waves tossed the ship about.
"There it spouts" rang out from the watch, a small boat was lowered and
some eight or ten members of the crew took after the whale; a harpoon
was thrown which hit the mark and the wounded whale charged the small
boat, upsetting it and throwing the occupants into the restless sea and
the crew of the small boat sank beneath the waves to be seen no more.
James' body was never recovered and for all we know
is still over in the Sea of Japan, yet a stone in his memory is in the
In looking up the story of James McCorkle we found
interesting facts about other members of the McCorkle family. For
William McCorkle, one of the whale hunters mentioned
above, was born in New York City January 1, 1819, and remained with his
parents until he was 15 when he worked in stores for some six years.
Liking the life of the sea he made whale hunting his calling until
1855. During that time he sailed around the world six times and was
once wrecked on the coast of South America. Meanwhile his brother
Andrew had come to Wisconsin and to Richland county in 1851. William,
accompanied by three other brothers Samuel, Robert and Charles, came to
Sextonville to visit Andrew. William took up his home in Sexonville in
1857 and engaged in the mercantile trade. Andrew remained in the county
for a time and was married to Rebecca daughter of Mr. and Mrs. E.M.
Joseph C. McCorkle, mate on a whaling vessel in his
younger days, came to Richland county in 1862. He made two sea voyages
and was absent from home 35 months each trip. Joseph was married May 14
1862, to Letitia daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth (McCloud) Krouskop.
They were the parents of five children, Carrie Belle, William S., later
county judge; Jacob, Samuel and George, the last named is now a reside
of Richland Center.
Charles M. McCorkle, upon whose tombstone the lines
in memory of James appears, an unmarried man, settled with other
members of the family at Sextonville. He was elected as register of
deeds for Richland county in November, 1852. Being of delicate health
he passed on before his term of office expired, consumption being the
cause of his death. Before he passed away he expressed a wish to be
buried on the crest of Nourse's Bluff, a tall hill near his home. He
was so buried but later his body was removed to the Sextonville
cemetery, where the stone, mentioned at the beginning of this article,
marks the spot and also keeps in memory the death of James McCorkle
who, killed by a whale in the Sea of Japan.
Samuel, another brother and a hunter of whales, also
came to Richland county and settled near Sextonville. Later on he moved
to Loyd where he opened a store and conducted a hotel. He was a captain
on a whale hunting ship and it must have been strange to he and his
brothers to come to Richland county and settle down to a quiet life far
away from the ocean.
"Capt. Samuel," so his tombstone up in the Richland
Center cemetery reads, "was born Sept. 18, 1825, and died May 16,
1898." He was married to Mary H. Rogers, she, also with their son Edwin
R., are buried on the lot with Captain Samuel. A daughter is also
buried close by, she became the wife of Dr. E.P. Kermott, a well known
Richland Center physician who at one time practiced at Loyd.
Quite a bit of history is brought to light by the
tales that the tombstones tell.
The Sexonville cemetery was surveyed in 1852 by
Joseph Irish. The land was donated by Charles DeVoe and the first
burial to be made therein was the remains of Mrs. George Reed.
Tales The Tombstones Tell - Republican Observer - April 12, 1956
"Buried at Duncans Mills, California"
So it reads on a tombstone in the Sextonville
cemetery. But say tales from Duncans Mills the tombstone is not
correct. The story is an odd one, and concerns Van Buren McCollum and
was written by Joseph Schafer, was principal of the Sextonville schools
back in 1891-92 and later became head of the Wisconsin Historical
Society. Assisting Mr. Schafer in preparing the story was Charles
McCollum, a nephews of Van Buren McCollum.
The stone in the Sextonville cemetery reads: "Van
Buren McCollum, born June 7, 1835, died June 7, 1899. Buried at Duncans
Mills, California." That is the short and simple inscription upon the
stone. To learn if he was buried at Duncans Mills or not the pages of
time are turned back over the years.
From now on the story is written by Mr. Schafer and
Charles McCollum: "Many of the McCollum family came to Sextonville and
Twin Bluffs away back when. There was however one exception. Sometime
in the fall of 1891 the sleepy little community of Sextonville awoke to
the presence within their midst of a genuine adventurer. He was a
stocky bearded man, who already seemed old to us young people but who
could not have been over 45 years. He was referred to as one of the
McCollums who for many years had lived in distant and little known
foreign land and who was now making a first visit in a generation to
his parents and kindred in his old Wisconsin home. Friends called him
'Van', his full name was Van Buren.
The adventurer remained in the Sextonville community
during the winter and in the spring went away, we assumed to his island
home in the South Pacific among the Polynesians and a few French, who
made that region their home, or at least their stopping place.
Forty-eight years later this writer (Joseph Schafer), recalling some of
the tales then heard about Van McCollum, wondered if his story could be
resurrected for the benefit of the State Historical Society of
Wisconsin. A letter to Elmer McCollum, of Richland Center, a nephew of
Van's, was relayed to Charles McCollum, Elmer's older brother, brought
results and he supplied the sketch which in part follows:
"Van Buren McCollum, the eldest son of Dr. Asa and
Hodossah McCollum, was born in Leicester, Mass. He commenced his
schooling in the public schools where some of the time Miss Clara
Barton was the teacher. He applied himself to his books and became a
great reader. This probably combined with his adventureous, roving
disposition caused him to wander away (from Sextonville, his home from
his 16th year) toward the setting sun, no more to see the home of his
youth and friends 'till 30 or more years had passed by. He headed west
to the Pacific coast.
"He was a wonderfully interesting letter writer and
I (Charles McCollum ) was the official letter writer for the
family. Not strange that my first correspondent was this far away
uncle, to me so endowed with romance and mysticism. I was always happy
to write to him and I never lost my childhood interest in him and we
kept up a correspondence until his death. When my letter writing days
were at hand he was located at Tar-o-hae, Marquesas islands. These are
the islands so rapturously sung by poets, were a fitting abode for my
poet uncle, and he was very happy there.
"During a South Sea Island cruise by Robert Louis
Steverson, the two exchanged poems and Stevenson sent my uncle a poem
describing him as 'Bard McCollum.'
"In 1891 Van visited his parents, sisters and
brothers, whom he had not seen for 30 years, at the old Sextonville
home. It was a happy reunion and all the family rejoiced over the
wandered's return. His father died that winter of influenza. Van
contracted the disease, and it left him with a bronchial infection from
which he never recovered. In the spring he returned to his beloved
islands, feeling sure the balmy climate would restore his health, but
it failed to do so completely. He stopped over at Duncans Mills,
California, among the redwoods and went on to the island. In 1899 he
was so ill that he decided to return to Wisconsin where he would be
with his relatives. When he reached San Francisco he decided to go to
Duncans Mills again. There he died June 7, 1899, on his 64th birthday.
The kindly old man had made many friends at Duncans Mills and he was
shown great respect.
"Realtives who visited his grave found it covered
with calla lilies. However, death did not stop his travels, for
eventually his grave, was found open and the body gone. He had been
regarded with much love by the native islanders and a party of them
came searching for the grave. They learned where he had, been laid to
rest and it is thought that they opened the grave and took the body
back to the palm studded islands. But this will never be known. It
would be a fitting end to the story if we could record that the kindly
old man was taken back to the isles he so dearly loved and laid to rest
among the people to whom he had endeared himself."
There the story ends. The tombstone in the
Sextonville cemetery says he was buried at Duncans Mills, yet the grave
contains no body and the island natives won't talk.
As Robert Louis Stevenson once wrote a poem for Mr.
McCollum it might be possible that, besides himself, he had Van in mind
when he wrote this:
"Under the wide and starry sky,
Dig the grave and let me
Glad did I live and gladly,
And I laid me down with a
This be the verse you grave
Here he lies where be
longed to be;
Home is the sailor, home
from the sea,
And the hunter home from
The Sextonville cemetery contains another mystery of
why some carvings are put upon monuments. On the stone which stands
upon the grave of a woman is inscribed these words:
Charlotte, wife of W. H. Atwood,
Died April 15, 1864,
aged 46 years. Slighted on
Earth but Accepted in Heaven
It is the last seven words that cause wonderment.
something but why were they put upon the stone? Do you know the story;
if you do let us know.
Tales The Tombstones Tell - Republican Observer - July 31, 1958
The Sextonville cemetery story is too long to be
written in one part, as around it much lore and history of the early
settlers of the area is woven and it will be made in three parts.
The Sextonville cemetery, well kept, has a background of
history. Mention of it has been made in previous articles. Here is
buried Charles M. McCorkle, who died on January 25, 1854, at the age of
26. He was register of deeds for Richland county, elected in 1852, but
failed to serve out his term as he died while in office. On the same
stone is noted the death of his brother James, who, it says upon the
stone, was killed by a whale in the Sea of Japan, May 25, 1848, aged 25
years and 5 months. The marker is broken and lays upon the ground. Soon
it will be a thing of the past as the elements will, in another ten
years, have the wording so worn that they cannot be read. We have told
of these two men previous and to the marker for V. D. McCollum, born in
1835 and died in 1899. It reads upon his marker that he was buried at
Duncan Mills, California. However, it is claimed that natives from a
South Pacific island, where he lived for some time, came to the Duncan
Mills cemetery, secured the body and took it back to the island.
The Sextonville cemetery is an interesting one as
buried there are the bodies of folks who were early, early settlers who
became prominent in the affairs of the county.
Charles DeVoe donated the land for the cemetery and
in 1852 it was surveyed by Joseph Irish. The first burial was the body
of Mrs. George Reed, who passed on July 18, 1851, before the cemetery
was surveyed. Her given name was Almina, and she was born in 1831.
There are many names upon the markers and monuments
such as: Warner, Thompson, Bloedow, Vest, Stroschine, Bates, Fells,
Hole, Wilson, Knapp, Nichols, Blackman, Rabine, Van Deusen, Carter,
McNurlin and Marden.
Many graves have no markers or monuments and there
are a few of the older ones that cannot be read.
There are more names Nee, Pellett, Ingmire, Hapgood,
Parduhn, Draheim, Lee, Wood, Waddell, Frankenhoff, Schuerman, Dunn,
Poorman, Nelson, Barnett, Hicks, Masters, Post, Heinz, Fitzgerald, and
Jacob Kuykendall born in 1848, and his wife Nellie,
are here. He died in 1930 and she in 1929. William Snyder, it says upon
his marker, was born in New York in 1836; came to Sextonville in the
early 50s, died at his home near Loyd, April 29, 1907, aged 70 years,
six months and five days. His wife, the former Elizabeth Warner, was
born in Indiana in 1848, married to William Snyder, March 4, 1865, died
at her home near Loyd, December 22, 1907, at the age of 59 years, two
months and 22 days. On the stone it says:
the loved ones who linger."
H. H. Brittian, one of the early settlers of the
Sextonville area, was a member of the U. S. Marine Corps. He died on
April 14, 1896, at the age of 73. His wife, Esther, was the widow of A.
J. Reed, who died in 1865. She married A. J. Reed in 1846 at Ottawa,
Illinois, and they settled near Sextonville in 1849 and she passed away
near Gotham June 8, 1907.
Albert Ghastin, another of the old settlers, was
born in 1829, and came to Wisconsin in 1845, settled near Sextonville
in 1851, moved to Richland Center in 1882 where he died March 15, 1906.
His wife, the former Eliza Coleman, was born in 1834 and died in 1927.
Albert A. Ghastin, born in 1853 and died in 1925, is also buried here
as is his wife Mary, who was born in 1857. He was a son of Albert
Ghastin who was for many years, a well known veterinary surgeon.
There is a marker here for Harvey Warner, born
in 1822 and died in 1883; one for Mary Warner, born in 1825 and one for
Martha Warner, born in 1846.
John Kuykendall and his wife, Jennie, have a
monument. He was a Civil War veteran, born in 1844 and died in 1910.
Mrs. Kuykendall passed on September 3, 1887, at the age of 39. On her
marker is this:
"We have no
faithful heart is stilled,
voice forever hushed,
no mother now,
sleeps beneath the sod;
weary heart's at rest,
spirit is with God."
There is a home made marker which reads:
A veteran of the War of 1812 found rest in this
cemetery. He was Roland Bush, born in Massachusetts March 12, 1793,
came to Richland County in 1850 and died March 23, 1886. A flag marks
his grave. His wife Harriet, is by his side. She was born in 1796, and
came with her family to Wisconsin in 1850, passing on in 1885.
"Weep not as you stand around my
grave." It says upon the marker for Hugh Clinton who
died April 20, 1885, at the age of 30.
Eleanor Bailey, wife of Dr. A. Bailey, was only 37
years old when she passed away June 23, 1877.
The Boyd family have several markers. Some members
of the family are not here. Peter Boyd, born in 1819 and died in 1891,
Mary Stevens, his wife, born in 1821, and died in 1892; James Henry
Boyd, 1822-1911; Catherine DeVoe, his wife 1824-1897; Florence Boyd,
1854-1895; Charles Boyd, 1845-1858, all appear to be here. Adeline
Boyd, wife of L. W. Cole, was born in 1843 and died in 1880, is buried
at Republican City, Nebraska; Frank Boyd, born in 1860 and died in
1912, is buried at Gooding, Idaho; and Ellen Boyd, wife of Franklin
Bush, is buried at Augusta, Wis. She was born in 1843. All this
information concerning the family was gathered from the inscriptions
upon the monuments and markers. Also on the marker for George Hoskins,
who was born in New York in 1827, married in 1850 to Adeline Cole, kin
of the Boyds, died in 1903. Adeline came to Sextonville in 1855 and
died in Oconomowoc March 8, 1916.
"A Gem for His Kingdom" is carved
upon her marker.
There is a stone here for John Collins, born in 1859
and died in 1951. Mr. Collins was an old hand at making sorghum and in
season kept the pans boiling down at the county farm. He was also
caretaker at the court house for some years. His wife, Eva, is buried
on the same lot. She was born in 1859 and died in 1943.
Charlotte, wife of W. H. Atwood, died April 15,
1864, at the age of 46 years, 8 months and 2 days. On her monument are
Earth but accepted in Heaven."
Her husband had those words placed upon the marker.
They resided on Bear Creek and moved to Sextonville
where he operated a blacksmith shop. Following Mrs. Atwood's death he
moved down near Eagle Corners where he died and was buried in the
Sylvano Bailey and his wife Lydia, were among the
early born to come into the Sextonville area. He was born in 1804 and
she in 1806. Mr. Bailey owned land a half mile south of Sextonville and
the rock ledge is on what was known as Bailey's Bluff.
Dr. William Telfair and his wife Sarah, are here
among the friends of long, long ago. Dr. Telfair was a native of
Scotland, born April 2, 1791; educated in the city of Edinburg and came
to the United States when he was 25 years of age; spent some 40 years
as a practicing physician at Cairo in the Catskill Mountains of New
York. He came to Richland county in 1855 and lived at Sextonville until
his death on
March 20, 1858. His wife was born in 1803 and died in 1893.
There are markers on the lot for a son William, born in 1841 And died
in 1886, and one for another son, M. E., born in 1834 and died in
Minneapolis in 1898.
There are a number of the Post family here. Joseph
H., born in 1821 in the state of New York, came to Sextonville in 1850
and died in 1870. An I.O.O.F. emblem is on his tombstone. His wife was
Mary De Voe. Joseph, with his family, came to Milwaukee in 1849, making
the entire journey by team and then drove to near Sextonville where he
settled. Two of his sons Luther W. and James are buried in the
cemetery. Luther W. was the oldest of the children when his parents
died and he took charge
of the household and cared for the younger members of the family.
Guy Welton, for many, many years the town clerk of
Orion, is here. He was born in 1891 and died in 1952.
The DeVoe family came to Richland county from New
York in 1850. Charles DeVoe, the pioneer, was born in 1801 in the
Mohawk valley as was his wife, Catherine. Mr. DeVoe was a blacksmith by
trade and had a coal pit.
His house was said to be the first in the village
and he was one of the first blacksmiths in the county. He followed his
chosen profession until 1875 when he retired. He died at Sextonville in
1882 at the age of 81 years, eight months and three days. His wife died
March 2, 1879 at the age of 80.
On the monument are these lines:
years of duty well done,
life's cherished friendship
shadows and fears,
joys and its sweetness
suffering and tears
there is rest on the dear Lord's breast,
rapture of Heaven's begun."
Edwin DeVoe, a son of Charles and Catherine DeVoe,
is here. He died in February, 1895, at the age of 73. A line on his
marker reads: "At rest beyond the river."
Charles G. DeVoe, another son, was born in New York
in 1835 and came to Sextonville in 1850 where he died in 1905. His wife
was Isabella Telfair, who was born in 1836 and their marriage took
place in 1858. She died in 1921. Another member of the family was
Cordelia, who was born in New York in 1832 and in 1848 married A. H.
Bush. They came to Wisconsin the following year. She died at Blooming
Grove, Oregon, in 1904 and was buried at Naponee, Nebraska. Irene DeVoe
has a monument here even though she was buried at Turin, New York; her
death taking place in 1835 when she was six years old. There are other
members of the DeVoe family here. Helen, was married to Charles Thomas.
She was born in 1841 and died in 1920. Mr. Thomas was born in 1835 and
died in 1916. Andrew J. DeVoe, another of the clan, was born in 1837
and came to Sextonville in 1850. He was married to Oliva Bangham at
Richland City in 1865 and died in Richland Center January 8, 1910. Mrs.
DeVoe was a native of Michigan and came to Richland City when she was
four years old. Her father was the first postmaster of Richland City.
Mr. and Mrs. Andrew DeVoe were the parents of seven children, four of
whom became well known in Richland Center, Fred, Charles B., Alice, who
married E. H. Edwards, and Maude. Fred and Maude are buried on the lot
with their parents.
The first death to take place in the town of Buena
Vista was that of Philip H. Miller who passed away, November 19, 1846,
at the age of 27. He was a son of Isaac and Elizabeth McCloud Miller
and he died of a fever induced by exposure while hunting. He was buried
near his home but the body was afterwards removed to the Sextonville
cemetery. The second death was that of Mrs. Sarah Janney, a sister of
Philip Miller. She died March 21, 1847, at the age of 21. She was the
wife of Phineas Janney, who came here in 1846. Elizabeth Boswell
McCloud, born November 17, 1775, is here buried. Jacob Krouskop, born
in 1800, has a tall monument
on his grave. He died in 1878 and his wife, Elizabeth, born in
1802 and died in 1884, is also on the lot. They were the parents of A.
H. Krouskop, long identified with the business life of Richland Center
and Richland county. A daughter, Cynthia, died April 18, 1855, at the
age of 11 years.
The McCloud brothers, Robert and William, came from
Ohio in 1845, located at Muscoda and then came to Buena Vista in 1846.
Mrs. Elizabeth McCloud, born in 1775, was the mother of Robert and
William, a fine lady with an excellent memory. Her death took place at
the James D. Keys home in Buena Vista. All these people, the Janneys,
Krouskops, Keys and Millers were related through the McClouds. James D.
Keys at whose home Mrs. Elizabeth McCloud died, was married in Ohio to
Marie B. Miller, a daughter of Isaac and Elizabeth McCloud. Mr. and
Mrs. James D. Keys were the parents of J. M. Keys, long identified with
Richland Center. J. D. Keys was born in 1825 and died in 1901. His wife
was born in 1821 and passed on in 1906. Three of their children also
have markers in the Sextonville cemetery.
James Banks, born in 1812, is here. He was 47 years
of age when he died in 1859. He was a native of England and came to the
Sextonville area in 1849, settling on section 31, Ithaca township. He
came back to Sextonville in 1855 and opened a hotel. He also carried
Jacob Esselstyne came to Sextonville in 1849 from
Ft. Atkinson, having been employed by E. M. Sexton to build him a
house. He liked the new country and took up his home here. He was born
in 1806 and died in 1880. His wife Sarah, was also born in 1806 and she
also died in 1880.
George Miller, one time sheriff of the county, is
buried here. He died in 1938.
Rev. J. H. McManus, born in 1853, is in this
cemetery. He was retired as a pastor for some time before his death
which took place in 1930. His wife, Priscilla, died the same year.
Among the soldier dead to be buried here are James
Nolan and his son, Burns. James was a veteran of the Civil War and was
a member of the 19th regiment, was a prisoner for a time in a rebel
stronghold and discharged in 1865. James was born in 1846 and died in
1915. Burns, the son, was born in 1890. He was a World War I veteran,
reaching the rank of lst Lieutenant. He served as county superintendent
of schools following the war and met his death in an auto accident July
28, 1932. Woven into the history of the Sextonville
cemetery is the life throb of the nation and the soldiers, sailors and
marines who took part in the fierce and bloody wars. Many a "Boy in
Blue" found the end of life's journey here. World Wars soldiers are
also here in the quiet confines of this sacred spot.
There was one brave lad, who has a monument here,
that never came back home, but his memory is kept alive by the
tombstone erected by his parent.
20 Regt. Wis. Vol.
at the battle of
Prairie Grove, Ark.
December 7, 1862
Aged 22 Years
A Brave and Gallant Soldier
And a True Patriot."
Morris Sexton was a son of Mr. and Mrs. E. M. Sexton
and his death upon a southern battlefield was greatly mourned by them.
Morris Sexton gave Richland Center as his residence when he enlisted on
June 14, 1862. He was named lst Sergeant; Brevet Captain on December
7th, and was killed in action on the same date at Prairie Grove.
There were several others from Richland county
who met death in the same battle or died later at Fayetteville, Ark.,
from wounds received in the same battle. Byron W. Telfair, Richland
Center, was a captain of this regiment at the battle. Other Richland
county, Boys in Blue to meet death in this bloody fray or died of
wounds received were: S. F. Curtis of West Lima; Henry Fazel, Sylvan;
Samuel Marsh, Richland Center; Nathaniel S. Standish, Eagle; William A.
Yakeley, West Lima.
Roland Bush, a native of Massachusetts, was born
March 12, 1793. He served in the War of 1812 and came to Richland
county in 1850 where he died March 23, 1886. His wife Harriet, was born
in 1796, coming to Wisconsin with her family in 1850. She passed on
January 15, 1885.
According to the records of the cemetery the
following Civil War veterans are buried here. S. C. Barnett, R. D.
Gibbons, C. Hoke, E. M. Sexton, Morris Sexton, B. W. Telfair, Reisen
Dye, Wm. Knapp, D. Nichols, Eph Dockerty.
J. Knapp, Thomas R. Jones, John Kuykendall,
Wm. Clinton, Cornelius Lee, Albert Lee, W. A. Cooper, F. Hapgood, G. F.
Jones, A. N. Bush, D. Titsworth, G. M. Hoke, Jerry Crapser, Lewis Sippy.
Albert Brewer, John Carter, Jas. Nolan, Graves
Dudley, Thomas McCarthy, Francis Harris, David Henry, Amasa Towers, Ed
Bristol, Obe Driscoll, H. H. Brittian.
Spanish-American War- Eugene Dye.
World War I - Burns Nolan, Harold Putz, James Maly,
World War II - Lisle Hole, Marshall Tanner. Lisle
Hole died in the service of his country in 1944.
This list, cemetery officials tell us, is subject to
correction and efforts are to be made to get it corrected if any errors
Walter T. Case, born in 1838, and died in 1917, is
buried here. On the gravestone are the names of his three wives,
Frances. 1839-1867; Mary, 1838-1867, and Mary P. 1850-1920.
Wilhelm Schuerman, a native of Germany, was born in
1825 and died in 1902. His wife, Carolina, also a native of Germany,
was born in 1822 and died in 1905. Mr. Schuerman was one of the
pioneers of the county, coming here in 1850, settling on Ash Creek,
later moving to section 36 in the town of Richland where he engaged in
dairying, keeping about 60 cows. He manufactured creamery butter and
Sap Sago. Mr. Schuerman also owned an interest in the Sextonville
Mills. Their oldest son, Henry, was killed in the mills when he was
about 25 years of age. It was a tragic accident.
There is a marker here for A. J. Powers who was born
on Christmas Day, l827; his wife Caroline was born in 1829. Two former
officers of Richland county are buried here. Fred D. Reed, clerk of the
courts, and W. A. Lawton, county clerk, not far apart. Mr. Reed was
born in 1863 and died in 1923 while in office. His wife Kitty, born in
1870, died in 1920. Mr. Lawton was born in 1858 and died in 1926. His
wife Lizzie, is by his side. She was born in 1858 and passed on in 1911.
"Rebecca Cook, daughter of Rev. C. and M. Cook, died
1861" it says upon a marker. Upon another close by is engraved:
"Theressa Shepard, wife of Rev. D. L. Hubbard, born March 8, 1831,
married October 7, 1849, and died July 3, 1876."
Frederick Bush, who was born in 1802, is here, his
death taking place in 1861. Olive Bush Bailey, born in 1788, and died
Polly Gilmore was 79 years of age when she passed on
November 7, 1874. This would bring her birth date in 1795. It is carved
upon her tombstone "An Unblemished Christian for 51 Years."
Prominent in the early life of the Sextonville area
were members of the Irish families. Luther Irish, a member, opened the
first permanent store in Sextonville, in 1851. He closed his store in
1856 with the intention of building a larger one. He went on a visit to
LaCrosse Valley where he died at the age of 27. It is said that the new
bell in the Methodist church first tolled for his funeral. Luther
M. Irish, another of the clan, was born at Sextonville in 1856 and died
at Springfield, Mo., in 1890. Markers are here for Martha, M.,
wife of W. R. Irish, who died at Hammond, Wisconsin, in 1881, at the
age of 41. One for Edna Irish who died in 1876 at the age of 76 years,
and one for David Irish who died February 7, 1857, at the age of 56.
Cornelius Lee has a flag upon his grave. He may have
been a soldier in the War of 1812 as he was born in 1796 and would have
been 18 years of age at that time. His wife Huldah, lived to a ripe
age, being 91 years, one month and 10 days of age when she passed on in
1891, Mr. Lee is listed as a Civil War veteran; if he was he was
nearing his 70th birthday, hardly possible.
Charles Thomas, born in 1835, was one of the early
settlers. He opened a store in Sextonville in 1855. A son, Berlie, died
in 1860 at the age of two and his wife Helen DeVoe, died in 1920. A son
Will C. died in 1933, and Timmie Atwood, Will's wife, died in 1937.
Charles passed on in 1916.
Isaac M. Clary and his wife Barbara are here. He was
born in 1849 and died in 1932. His wife died in 1895 at the age of 46.
On her marker it says: "As a wife, devoted, as a mother affectionate;
as a friend ever kind and true."
Rev. R. J. Peeples and his wife Adelia, are in this
cemetery. He was born in 1850 and she also in 1850. He died in 1903 and
his wife in 1935. On the tombstone for Rev. Peeples are these lines:
"For he was a good man and full of the Holy Ghost
and of Faith and much people was added unto the Lord."
Franklin Nourse and his wife Hannah, are among
friends of the long ago. He was born in 1830 and died in 1914, and Mrs.
Nourse first saw the light of day in 1835 and her eyes closed in
everlasting sleep in 1911. Franklin Nourse was a son of Mr. and Mrs.
Elijah Nourse. The parents came to Wisconsin in 1839, landing in
Kenosha, where their eldest son, William, died. In 1852 they came to
Richland county. Franklin, a son, was born in 1830 in Vermont, and came
with his parents to Wisconsin. On a visit back to his old home town in
1856 he married Hannah Fellows. They returned to Sextonville where they
remained until death came. A son Frank, continued to live here until
1934, when he met death in an auto accident. His wife Eunice, born in
1868, passed on in 1955.
There is a marker for Dr. Robert Thompson, born in
New York in 1864 and died in Milwaukee in 1917. A line on the stone
says he was "A skilled physician for Years." On a marker nearby is
engraved: "Clifford, dear son of Robert and Kate Thompson, July 19,
1892, September 5, 1896. God bless baby."
E. M. Sexton came to the township of Ithaca in 1848
with Orrin Britton where Mr. Sexton entered a large tract of land. In
the spring of 1849 Sexton and R. B. Stewart came from Jefferson county.
Mr. Sexton platted the village of Sextonville in 1851 and a thriving
village came into being. Mr. Sexton opened a hotel in the village. He
was a popular landlord and his hotel did a thriving business. He also
erected a sawmill in 1851 which for years awoke the neighborhood with
its loud hum. Jacob Krouskop later bought the property. A post office
was established at Sextonville in 1849 and E. M. handled the mail.
In 1854, Mr. Sexton and R. B. Stewart platted the
village of Loyd. Mr. Sexton made Sextonville his home for several
years, serving as county treasurer for a time. He moved to Barron
county, but in 1876 came back on a visit. Sick at the time he told his
friends that he came back to die, which he did on March 1, 1876, at the
age of 62. In addition to his active life he was a lawyer and devoted
some of his time to the practice of law, but, history states he had but
a meager business.
Known far and wide as E. M. Sexton his monument in
the cemetery proclaims his given name Ebenezer and no doubt his
schoolmates shorted it down to "Eb".
The McCarthy family has some of its members
here. Thomas, born in 1844 and his wife Laura, born in 1841, are here
as is a daughter Nellie, who died in 1876 at the age of two years.
Nellie was known by her parents as "Gypsie." Ada, another daughter,
died in 1948. Other members of the family Dr. H. C. McCarthy, Dr. Earl,
and their sister Edith, are buried in the Richland Center cemetery.
Mrs. Thomas McCarthy and her daughter Ada, were school teachers in the
days gone by and a fitting monument to them is the new Jefferson school
house in Richland Center which stands upon the site of their home for
many years, on North Main street.
We move on to the graves of some of the Eastland
folks, early settlers of the Sextonville area. Shepherd Eastland seems
to be the oldest of the clan buried here. He was born, his tombstone
says, on October 17, 1787, and died in 1867. Mary, his wife, was born
in September, 1790, and died in 1877. H. A. Eastland, born in New York
state April 4, 1816, was an attorney and came to Sextonville and hung
out his shingle in 1851, moving to Richland Center some ten years later
where be remained. He was married in 1851 to Mrs. Isabelle Pierce. She
was born in 1819 and died in 1900. Mr. Eastland died in 1896. They had
two children, Kirk W. and H. W., both of whom became lawyers and
practiced in Richland Center. Kirk was born in 1852 and died in 1908.
H. W. Eastland was known as "Hal" though his name upon the tombstone is
Harold. James E. Eastland is another member of the clan buried here. He
died November 14, 1901, at the age of 91 years, 6 months and 16 days.
His wife died in 1886 at the age of 74. D. J. Eastland is also buried
here. He was born in 1814 and died in 1894; and the last of his clan to
find rest here was Fred Eastland, born in 1863 and died in 1945.
Arvin Burnham was born in 1805, married in 1840,
moved to Sextonville in 1853, coming from Connecticut, and died in May
of 1889. His wife Harriet, was born in 1806 and died in 1880. Nehemiah
Burnham, born in 1841, died in 1917, and his wife Hannah, born in 1847,
passed on in 1886.
Peter A. Mickle is in this cemetery. He was born in
1829 and died in 1895. He is pictured on old photos taken at the time
that the steam engine to he used on the railroad was being hauled by
team and wagons from Lone Rock to Richland Center. A picture was taken
of the engine in front of the post office at Sextonville. Peter is in
this picture; the large man with patches on his overalls. His wife was
the widow of Luther Irish, who was the first permanent storekeeper in
Several members of the McCorkle family, besides
those already mentioned are buried here. William McCorkle, born in 1819
and Harriet, his wife, born in 1835. At an early age he became a
sailor, became a whale hunter and sailed around the world six times and
was once wrecked on the coast of South America. He became a captain.
Giving up life on the seven seas he moved to Sextonville in 1857 where
he went into business having the firm name of McCorkle & Thomas. He
was married in 1856 to Harriet Toping, born in 1835. She died in 1922
and her husband in 1890.
The McCollum family, long identified with business
life in the county, has members buried here. The eldest is Dr. Asa
McCollum, born in 1801. His native state was Massachusetts, and it was
the birthplace of his wife, Hadassop, who was born in 1802. Dr.
McCollum passed on in 1891 and his wife in 1897. He was the first
doctor in Sextonville, coming there in 1851 where he practiced for many
years, also operated a drug store which he purchased in 1858. A son J.
R. L. McCollum is here buried as is also another son, Lewis. A stone
for Van Buren McCollum, spoken of elsewhere, is here. It says Van Buren
was buried at Duncan Mills, California. J. L. R. McCollum was but nine
years old when his parents came to Richland county. He was one of the
first graduates of the Sextonville high school. He was engaged in the
mercantile business near Sextonville with A. H. Krouskop when he was 21
years of age. He was married in 1864 to Eliza Krouskop. They were the
parents of these children, Charles, Dock, and Elmer. Mr. McCollum
served in the state assembly in 1875. He died in 1931 and his wife in
Mitchell Harris has a marker on his grave
which says his passing "brings a new thought of love and understanding."
B. W. Telfair was a lawyer by profession, coming
from New York to Sextonville in 1854 and he practiced law until going
into service. He was a captain of Co. B, 20th Regt. and one of his
company was Morris Sexton, who met death at Prairie Grove, Ark. A
marker for each is in the Sextonville cemetery. Mr. Telfair died in
1872. He was survived by his wife and a child, who moved to the
northern part of the state to make their home. When Mr. Telfair
enlisted he gave his address as Richland Center. He served as captain
until Sept. 10, 1863, when, on account of disability he was discharged.
His place as captain of Co. B was taken by Emory F. Stone of Sun
Prairie, who died April 1, 1865, at New Orleans, as the result of
wounds received at Spanish Fort. Many Richland county men were members
of Co. B, and a number of them like M. E. Sexton, never came home but
they found rest beneath the sod in a cemetery in the deep south.
The William and Joseph Irish families have members
buried here. Joseph Irish came from New York state in 1852. He taught
school for a time, was elected as county surveyor, and it was he who
surveyed the cemetery back in 1852. He later entered the ministry. He
moved to St. Croix county in 1860 and while living there was elected
state senator and in 1883 was tendered the appointment of Minister to
France, but declined. William Irish came in 1854, residing in the
Sextonville area for a number of years. He also became a Methodist
Several of the men who helped in organizing the town
of Ithaca are buried in this cemetery. The town was organized in 1856
and among the officers chosen at that time were Luther Irish, clerk,
James Boyd, treasurer. For some reason or other three assessors were
elected, Joseph Post, buried here was one of them.
One may wonder why Sextonville is here spoken of as
being in the town of Ithaca. Back in the "early days" the village was
in Ithaca, the township at that time extended south from the present
town line and when the town was made to conform with others in the
county the line was changed so that Sextonville is now in the town of
Sextonville was a very important point back in the
days of E. M. Sexton. The first high school in the county was
established here in the year of 1860. Prof Henry W. Glasier was head of
the school. Many of the boys and girls who attended the school have
found everlasting rest in the Sextonville burying ground and marble and
granite stones mark the spots.
It is a far cry from "away back, when" to the
present day. Wouldn't Mrs. George Reed, the first person to be buried
in the cemetery, wonder over present day events. And wonder too would
come to James McCorkle who was killed by a whale in the Sea of Japan
May 25, 1848. A marker for him is here, though his body was never
recovered. Wouldn't he wonder if he learned that in the cemetery are
those who were killed by auto accidents. He would wonder what an auto
was. He certainly would be surprised if he learned that Dr. Walker,
also buried here, met death in an airplane crash. The world moves.
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